HCMC to crack down on panhandling

Thanh Nien News

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A conman posing as a disabled beggar on a Ho Chi Minh City street. Photo credit: VnExpress A conman posing as a disabled beggar on a Ho Chi Minh City street. Photo credit: VnExpress
Ho Chi Minh City authorities will continue to crack down on conmen posing as elderly vendors, Buddhist monks, disabled and sick people to separate generous people from their money, news website VnExpress reported.
The labor department and relevant agencies said in a meeting this week they are determined to settle the problem before April 30, as the number of conmen seems to rise again after some latest crackdowns.
The department ordered districts to provide wheelchairs to disabled street vendors and bring ailing ones to medical centers for treatment before sending them back to their hometowns.
It also asked relevant agencies to regularly check temporary residency registration to detect those who organize panhandling activities.
The HCMC Social Support Center said they had received 2,285 panhandlers since December 2014, of whom 1,866 people have been sent back to their hometowns. Eighty percent of the panhandlers came from other provinces.
The center said it is hard to tackle the panhandling problem because it is regulated that panhandlers can stay in social centers no more than three months, so they tend to go back to HCMC to go begging after being sent home.
The labor department called on local people to inform authorities of panhandlers by calling three hotlines it established and sought for the municipal government’s approval to reward the informants VND200,000 (US$9) each.

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